12-year old Thomas Edwards has never been to a New Years celebration in China before, but his dad Bob Edwards does his best to teach him all of the traditions.
"I heard it's like bigger than birthdays or Christmas or any other holiday." said Thomas.
With the Chinese new year approaching this weekend, the Edwards and billions of others are preparing to say goodbye to the year of the dragon and hello to the snake.
There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The cunning and secretive snake is the 6th.
Thomas says he is a little sad to see the year of the dragon end.
"I was the dragon and last year was the year of the dragon and it was a good year for me."
Bob is the co-president of the Chattanooga Chinese association and has been to several New Years celebrations in China.
"It's the one time of the year that people get back to their village and see their parents and get their Christmas, it's like their thanksgiving all rolled into one," he said.
Like Christmas, children receive gifts for the new year..
"One thing they will do typically Chinese New Year is pass out a home ball which means a red envelope and that's generally given from the adults to the children and in the envelope would generally be money." Bob said.
Similar to American New Years traditions, they'll be dinners, parades, and fireworks; but some traditions are unique to the Chinese.
Bob said, "The one custom they have that I think Americans could learn from is that people would do their very best to pay off all their debts before Chinese New Years, so you don't want to go into the New Year with any debts outstanding.